Germany's plastics packagers lose out because of high power costs

03 July 2013 15:45  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s plastics packaging firms are losing in international competitiveness because of the country’s high electricity costs, an industry trade group said on Wednesday.

As a result, larger plastics packagers are already thinking about leaving Germany and a number of medium-sized firms may not be able to maintain production in the country much longer, IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen said.

Germany-based plastics packagers were exposed to “increasingly harsh international competition that essentially takes place via prices,” IK said.

In France, for example, competitors' electricity costs were only half as high as in Germany, and in the US electricity costs had dropped sharply because of that country's shale gas boom, the group said.

IK blamed in particular Germany’s energy policy (Energiewende), which aims to phase out nuclear power generation and build up energy from renewables.

"The current concept of the energy policy turnaround with its mad costs for industry and consumers that have run out of control must be stopped at once,” said IK managing director Ulf Kelterborn.

Developments on the international energy markets, in particular the US move to produce low-cost shale gas through hydraulic fracturing (fracking), showed “that the current German concept of the turnaround of energy policy will fail the international comparison of power prices,” Kelterborn added.

IK has more than 300 members and describes itself as the biggest trade association in Europe’s plastics packaging industry. It is based in Bad Homburg, near Frankfurt.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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